Posts by Arnaldo Pellini

Quando scrivere è arte

‘Col tramontar del sole il vento si era calmato. La notte era tranquilla e fresca. Verso mezzanotte le voci cominciarono a chetarsi; un gallo cantò; dietro ai tigli si mostrò la luna piena; si levò una bianca e fresca nebbia fatta di rugiada, e sul villaggio e sulla casa regnò il silenzio.’

L. Tolstòj, Guerra e Pace, Libro Terzo, Capitolo XII

The story continues…

I find it nice to re-read books I have read when I was in my teens. So, here I am back to War and Peace. Almost to the end of book 1. I have the memories of when I read the book maybe 20-25 years ago. The memories have blurred with the passing of time. Re-reading the book is discovering it anew.

It’s 1809. The Rostov family has moved temporarily to St Petersburg. The whole family attend the grand ball hosted by a noble man on New Years which has a guest of honor the Emperor Alexander I.

It is the first grand ball of Nataša Rostov. There she meets again Prince Andréj Bolkonsky who is struck by her beauty, falls in love with her and decides to ask her hand. He consult with his long time friend Pierre Bezuchov who tells prince Andéj to follows his feelings. Nataša notices also Pierre at the grand ball.

Prince Andréj asks his father, Prince Nikolai Andreich Bolkonsky, permission to meet Nataša’s father and ask the hand of his daughter. Prince Andréj’s father is not happy about his son’s proposition and gives his permission under the conditions that his son would wait one year before marrying Nataša. He tells him to leave the country. Travel to Europe. If in one year, his and Nataša’s feelings have not changed they would then marry.

Prince Andréj is re-born. He feels life, love, compassion which he thought he had lost and goes to the Rostovs to ask to marry Nataša. Permission is granted. Nataša accepts as well and feel the join for the love towards him and the sandees for his imminent departure.

The story continues …

50 years ago on the moon

“Though I’m past one hundred thousand miles
I’m feeling very still
And I think my spaceship knows which way to go
Tell my wife I love her very much she knows
Ground Control to Major Tom
Your circuit’s dead, there’s something wrong
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you hear me, Major Tom?
Can you “Here am I floating ’round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there’s nothing I can do”

Finnish language exercises

Minä meni torin keskustassa. Minä halusin ostaa porkanat. Torilla oli hyvät porkanat/porkanoita ja houono porkanoita. Porkanat olivat halpa kosak nyt on kesä. Talvella, porkanat ovat kallis. Minä tulin takaisin kotin ja menin keittiöön koska haluisin tekee ruoka. Minä olin nälkä.

Hyvä – huono
Kuma – kylmä
Vaikea – helppo
Pieni – iso/suuri
Uusi – vanha
Kaunis – ruma
Lämmin – viileä
Paljon – vahan
Valoisa – pimeä

London tube

Baker Street, 2018

It was late that night. He opened the Tube app to check until what time the trains were running. There was still time. Few more trains before they would shut the doors of the stations until the early morning.  He had to change train in Baker Street and walked slowly to the platform.  A train had just stopped but he did not rush. He had his headphones on and had stumbled upon an interview on BBC Ulster. The host was interviewing Ciara O’Neill. They were speaking about her new album. They were talking and his mind rushed back to memories of living in Scotland, to a trip he took in Ireland (though not Northern Ireland) many many years before. He remembered the winters up in the north. The strong winds. The waves in the ocean. The rain. The hills. The daily runs along the river. The warm pubs. All that came back in a matter of seconds and the distance to the train changed and there was no need to rush anymore. He listened to their nice Irish accent and then she sang one of the new songs. He thoughts about her courage to pursue her dream and become a songwriter up there in Northern Ireland and, for a moment, in Baker Street’s tube station as well.

Winter Wonderland Series

Winter wonderland series / 9

Over the knoll, 2019

The countryside in Eastern Finland, close to the border with Russia is more hilly than in the west of the country. There are these soft hills which resemble waves in the open sea. About 150 years ago this part of Finland was covered by forest and bug rocks. The farmers who settled here cleared the land one tree at a time, one rock at a time. Some of those rocks were used to build the foundation for the farmhouses. Hard work that in the winter had probably to stop to wait for the spring and the summer.

This is the last photograph fo this series. Next week I will start a new series of nine photographs from a different country. Different life stories.

Winter wonderland series / 8

The barn, 2019

The wind was blowing strong the day we took this walk. The radio and the weather apps where informing about this big snow storm coming which would touch more than half of Finland. People were advised to stay in for the night and the early hours of the following day. We had few hours of light and went for a walk in the countryside. The light was grey. The wind was carrying dry snow which made the air seems a bit foggy. It was not possible to take a tack sharp picture. The road followed the up and downs of the fields and its sides were one with the field nearby. The ditch that usually separates this road from the fields had disappeared under the snow. Then we saw this barn near a farm. People live here. Farmers own this land. I stopped for a second in the middle of the road. Listen to the wind. I thought about the life of those living here. How do these farmers cope with the long winter? How do they manage their farm and income? How far do their kids have to go to get to school? What do they think when they look outside the windows of their homes? I took this photograph as the cold wind from the east was taking my thoughts away with it. I put my hand in the pockets of my jacket to warm them and walked back to the cottage facing the wind.

Winter wonderland series / 7

Snow path, 2019

In winter there are the frozen lakes. The trees in the forest covered with snow. There is also the countryside where farmers live and where the life seems to pause during the winter. The are no birds. The is silence broken only by the winds and the noise of the snow under the shows when walking. It all seems very remote and distant as farmers wait for the spring when the winter will to let go and they can start again their work in the fields.

I will continue this series until I reach nine photographs and will then switch to a new series with new landscapes and context.

Winter wonderland series / 6

Hold me, 2019

The snow is ankle deep. The clouds are low on the shoreline. The ice is thick. Jumping is not a problem.

Winter wonderland series / 5

Which way?, 2019

I woke up and went down to the lake. It had snowed a lot over the previous two days. The mark left by the snowmobile where not too fresh but still very visible. Somebody had passed nearby the shore but I could not remember hearing it. The made a small detour thinking about whether to get back from here or continue. The trees were holding the snow and when I turned the image to black and white I thought that it seemed a copper-etched print.

Winter wonderland series / 4

There is this lake in Eastern Finland. It freezes in the early winter and stays frozen until the end of March. It is a large lake and when the winter starts and the temperature drops a thin layer of ice begins to form starting from the shorelines and moving slowly towards the center. Then it can snow and the thin layer of ice gets covered by a white mantle which hides how thick the ice really is. But this is a large lake. Water moves. There are streams and currents hidden under the ice. In the silence of the the winter one can easily hear the sudden sound of cracks or a strange noise as if huge bubbles would try to break and escape the hard ice surface that will cover them until the spring.

Overexposed landscape, 2019

Winter wonderland series / 3

Winter wonderland, 2019

Another photograph from Eastern Finland for the Winter Wonderland Series. I have few more to post. I will see how far I can go with these.

Pyhäjärvi is large lake in Eastern Finland. You can follow it going east and you will end up in Russia after passing the island of Havukkasaari. I think the landscape on the other side of the border it pretty similar to the one on this side of the border. Water. Ice in winter. Island. The line fo the forest at designing the horizon. At the same time, it seems to me that Russia is very far away. Almost unreachable. Unknowable.

Winter wonderland series / 2

Meditating, 2018

A large lake. Frozen landscape. The sky promising more snow. No cars. No roads. Only the sound of the wind

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